Michigan Doctor Fined $30M and Jailed for Close to 17 Years Over $112M Opioid Scam on Patients

Frank Patino, 68, was jailed on Monday for masterminding "one of the most egregious health care schemes in U.S. history"

https://www.instagram.com/patinodiet/?hl=en. Frank Patino/Instagram
Photo: Frank Patino/Instagram

A Michigan doctor is facing close to 17 years in jail for leading "one of the most egregious health care schemes in U.S. history."

On Monday, Frank Patino, 68, was also ordered to pay $30 million for leading a scheme to defraud Medicare and private insurers of more than $112 million by writing unnecessary prescriptions for opioids that left many patients addicted, reported the Associated Press.

"Over the course of approximately five years, Patino steadily increased the potency of the opioids he prescribed, ultimately making him the top prescriber of 30-milligram oxycodone within the state of Michigan," Justice Department attorney Steven Scott said in a court filing, per AP.

Despite this, Patino maintained his innocence Monday, reported WDIV-TV in Detroit. The outlet also added that his legal team had requested a new trial on the grounds that a previous defense lawyer incorrectly pleaded his case.

"It just doesn't fit for him to be involved in philanthropy for all these years and to be committing these crimes," his new attorney Martin Crandall said, per AP.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Patino was first arrested during a federal raid on the offices of Livonia-based Patino Laboratories on June 27, 2018.

During his trial, authorities said he prescribed more than 2 million painkillers such as oxycodone and fentanyl and used his reimbursements from Medicare to sponsor MMA fighters, added WDIV-TV. Federal prosecutors also accused Patino of using a diet regime known as the "Patino diet" to launder money from the fraud, added the outlet.

Patino was convicted in September 2021 of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, two counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of money laundering, according to The Detroit News.

"What he did was wasteful and was providing no help to patients. It was only done to get money," "Without (Patino), we wouldn't be sitting here today," Scott said Monday, per The Detroit News.

The attorney added that Patino "collected millions of dollars from Medicare from the fraudulent claims he caused to be submitted."

"He has not accepted any responsibility for his actions," he continued.

Related Articles